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Jill Scott, van Dijk stars in latest Heineken campaign

Jill Scott, Virgil van Dijk star in latest Heineken campaign

February 13, 2024

Heineken has partnered with its brand ambassador, Liverpool FC and Netherlands men’s national team star Virgil van Dijk, for its latest campaign titled “Cheers To The Real Hardcore Fans”. Van Dijk stars alongside former English footballer Jill Scott, who was also revealed as a Heineken ambassador.

The “Cheers To The Real Hardcore Fans” campaign “subverts expectations and redefines what it means to be a ‘real hardcore fan’ in an effort to tackle the negative hardcore fan stereotypes to help make football more inclusive.”

Europe’s football-governing body UEFA, also sponsored by Heineken, hopes to redefine what it means to be a “hardcore fan” without associating negative behaviour. 

Nabil Nasser, Global Head, Heineken, commented:

There’s a minority of football fans that can spoil the game for everyone else, giving hardcore fans a bad name, but those problematic few don’t represent the majority. Our new campaign is a witty twist on the ‘hardcore fan’ stereotype, showing instead what hardcore fandom really looks like, celebrating the diverse group of people who truly live and breathe the sport in a positive, and sometimes quirky way.

Virgil van Dijk said:

The Real Hardcore fans make me proud and appreciative as a player. I think this reclaiming this phrase is important, the historic negative connotations are something we need to remove from the game, no one is born a racist, I think the key things to make change are education and communicating with each other. I hope we can be part of that change, that’s why I’m glad Heineken® is challenging the perception of what a real fan is to show there is a place for everyone in the game.

Jill Scott added:

I used to go to The Stadium of Light with my granddad almost every weekend without fail, come rain or shine. But when you think about what a hardcore football fan looks like, most people don’t picture a teenage girl. That’s what I love about Heineken®’s new campaign. It’s showing you what real football fans look like and playing on people’s expectations of who a real ‘hardcore’ fan is.

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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